andwereallwevegot asked: Lord English
World War II, in the middle of the Blitz! A radioactive meteor hits the House of Lords, imbuing a particularly clueless aristocrat with amazing power! Now, with his faithful butler, he struggles to smash the Nazi menace - and the rest of England struggles to keep him from accidentally smashing them!
So basically a superhero version of Jeeves and Wooster.
During the whole “Is LE Caliborn or Calliope?” debate, something that was brought up a number of times by multiple people on the “Caliborn isn’t LE” side of the argument was that Caliborn was named for a sword. Which seems like a weird argument - how can he be a bad guy if he’s named for something used to kill people! - but the point was that Caliborn is named for a hero’s sword. King Arthur’s sword, originally called Caledfwlch, but later known as Caliburn, and more recently best known as Excalibur.
I think it’s pretty clear by now that Caliborn is Lord English and that he’s very much an antagonist. Calliope, a muse, inspires people’s lives with stories and poetry, while a sword’s main use is ending lives. Even if Caliburn was a hero’s sword, a tool is only as moral as its master.
But that’s what’s interesting to me. A sword is a weapon. Could Caliborn have been made to be used? The one difference in his name from the sword Caliburn is the “o” - Caliborn. Born to be a sword?
Lord English has acted a number of times to ensure the events of his own past. He arranged for the creation of the Green Sun, his power source. And even further back, he sent Gamzee to be his younger self’s mentor, as well as possibly to set up the cherubs’ room on the meteor. But is Lord English completely responsible for his own existence, or were there other wills involved?
There have been some hints that this might be the case.
Most recently, this line from Hussie seemed a little suspicious:
When you say someone was dealt a lousy hand, you generally mean that something bad happened to them that was outside their control - just plain bad luck. But Caliborn made his session solo on purpose, didn’t he? Even if you count the influence of his older self, that’s still Caliborn dealing his own hand, not anyone else.
Then there’s this, which is a little less clear:
Lord English is sanctioned by paradox space, accounted for by the present equilibrium. This could just be because he’s so powerful that he made himself part of the equilibrium, but there’s also the possibility that he is “sanctioned” because someone or something wanted him to be there.
Who besides Lord English would possibly want Lord English to exist?
Let’s consider the horrorterrors.
We know from Andrew Hussie’s old Formspring that the horrorterrors oppose creation, and therefore Skaia:
Though the Derse dreamers are heroes, they still serve as emissaries to the dark gods, who presumably tend to be opposed to the goal of creation, like Derse. There always remains the possibility that the Derse dreamers will carry out the agenda of the gods without understanding what they’re doing. To kill those kids before that would lack strategic foresight, something a queen has.
They are aligned with Derse, just as Skaia is aligned with Prospit. The carapacians are chess pieces, after all, and every chess game needs players: that’s Skaia (playing as white) and the horrorterrors (playing as black). Derse is associated with activeness and aggression, while Prospit is passive and defensive - that’s why black always wins, because white never takes the offensive. Skaia is too passive an entity to directly move against Derse, which is why it relies on the players, its Heroes.
Sometimes the horrorterrors win, that’s what a null session is. But when the players win and create a universe, they lose. What if, after some unspecified eternity, the horrorterrors - the aggressors - got fed up with the usual game? What if they decided to see if they could win more games by throwing a new variable into the equation?
In other words, what if the horrorterrors took the ultimate risk, flipped the board over, and changed the game forever?
Skaia is Creation, and the horrorterrors are Opposition to Creation. What force might they seek the aid of in their battle with Creation?
Wouldn’t it make sense to try Destruction?
Derse doesn’t destroy universes, it merely tries to stop them from being made. Who do we know that destroys universes? Lord English. In fact, his very presence in any universe means it will inevitably be torn apart. He is Destruction incarnate.
Even if the horrorterrors didn’t conspire to create Lord English, they have definitely worked with him. They worked in tandem with Doc Scratch to create the Green Sun: he told Rose how to supposedly destroy the Sun, they gave her the map. Doc Scratch provided Alternia with Gl’bgolyb, an Emissary to the Horrorterrors, whose presence A) enforced highblood domination, creating the world of fucked up power-gamers that Lord English wanted, and B) was a major influence on the Alternian game session because of her pre-entry prototyping in Feferi’s kernelsprite, creating an intensely difficult game that pushed Karkat to rush the creation of Bilious Slick, so that he could focus on his team’s survival. And that produced a cancer (Jack) which was later exploited by Gamzee, at Doc Scratch’s behest, which was also instrumental to the creation of the Green Sun! The horrorterrors are closely tied up in Lord English’s plans, and these plans tend to be directly opposed to Skaia, and involve the destruction of universes Skaia had created. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
Is it such a stretch to believe that the horrorterrors created Lord English, manipulating the circumstances of Caliborn’s birth in order to ensure his destructive nature and rise to power? Let’s also note that he’s a Derse dreamer, awake for some time. They may have been influencing him with their whispers for years.
There’s a problem, of course.
Turned out Skipper Plumbthroat has a thing for killing insomniac jellyfish.
The horrorterrors didn’t realize that when they created a being who destroyed everything in his path, they might end up being on that path, too. Lord English is still an instrument of death, but he has no loyalties and is too powerful to be controlled or even contained. Caliborn was born as a weapon, but he decided he’d rather be a Lord than anyone’s tool. Which could be at least a meta reason for why he changed his name!
The funny thing is that because of their non-linear nature, the horrorterrors’ actions in the story have been to simultaneously aid Lord English and try to stop him! They provide Dave the map while working with LE, but then plead with Rose to help stop the one who’s slaughtering them. Which is exactly why Doc Scratch told her to use their map, but otherwise that she shouldn’t trust them, and that their influence through her magic was detrimental to her! He was trying to focus her attention on the horrorterrors who were on his side, and make him ignore the ones who had seen his master’s threat and turned against him. (Also, I’ve mentioned before how I think grimdark Rose was the horrorterrors’ weird, roundabout way of helping the kids fight Lord English, and I still stand by that).
I just think it makes sense that the true ultimate foe, the even worse bad guy who requires both good and evil to band together against him just for there to be a chance of his defeat, the true Destruction to Skaia’s Creation, would have been created by the regular old enemy, Opposition to Creation.
So I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether this ends up being remotely true, but it seems like there’s something there.
(Incidentally, something I thought was interesting: apparently Excalibur’s scabbard was able to keep the bearer from dying due to loss of blood.)
Can we take a second to note that the main character of Homestuck is just now learning about the main villain of Homestuck
I think this is a record for any story ever told.